Carr, Terry

Tagged: Author | Editor | Fan

(1937-1987) US author and editor. He became an sf fan in 1949 and, throughout the 1950s (and later), enjoyed a long and prolific career as such; one of his Fanzines, Fanac, co-edited with Ron Ellik, won a Hugo in 1959, and Carr eventually won his second Hugo as Best Fan Writer in 1973. Some of this writing was assembled as Fandom Harvest (coll 1986 Sweden) and Between Two Worlds (coll 1986 chap dos), the latter being published with similar material by Bob Shaw.

In the early 1960s Carr began to work as an editor and to write fiction, his first story being "Who Sups with the Devil" in May 1962 for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, where most of his early stories appeared, the majority being assembled in The Light at the End of the Universe (coll 1976). He was never prolific as a fiction writer, but the stories in that collection are thoughtful and distinctive. They include "Brown Robert" (July 1962 F&SF), a neat Time-Travel variant, "The Dance of the Changer and the Three" (in The Farthest Reaches, anth 1968, ed Joseph Elder), an ambitious attempt to render an Alien culture by telling one of its myths, and "Ozymandias" (in Again, Dangerous Visions, anth 1972, ed Harlan Ellison), which draws an effective parallel between modern Cryonics techniques and the funeral practices of ancient Egypt. There were also two minor novels Invasion from 2500 (1964) with Ted White under the joint pseudonym Norman Edwards, and Warlord of Kor (1963 chap dos) – as well as one ambitious and substantial work, Cirque: A Novel of the Far Future (1977), a religious allegory, elegiac in mood, set in the Far Future. Because he was not very prolific, Carr's writing has been in general somewhat undervalued.

It was as an editor that he became and remained best known; a reading of his various anthology series over the two decades from 1964 constitutes a perusal of much of the best short sf published during those important years; for full lists for all series, see Checklist below. In 1964-1971 he worked with Donald A Wollheim at Ace Books, where he was responsible for the highly successful Ace Special series, whose most famous original publications were probably R A Lafferty's Past Master (1968), Ursula K Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) and Alexei Panshin's Rite of Passage (July 1963 If as "Down to the Worlds of Men"; exp 1968), and which included further titles of strong merit. He co-edited seven annual best-of-the-year Anthologies with Wollheim, beginning with World's Best Science Fiction: 1965 (anth 1965; vt World's Best Science Fiction: First Series 1970), and initiated the Universe series of original anthologies with Universe 1 (anth 1971). After leaving Ace and becoming a freelance editor, Carr continued to produce a best-of-the-year anthology on his own in competition with Wollheim's, commencing with The Best Science Fiction of the Year (anth 1972) and continuing through 1987; during its run, this series was generally regarded as the best of the annual compilations. Universe continued, although it changed publishers more than once; and with The Year's Finest Fantasy (anth 1978) Carr started a Fantasy annual, which was less successful. Of a wide variety of reprint and original anthologies, the most notable was perhaps The Ides of Tomorrow (anth 1976), with fine stories by Brian W Aldiss, George R R Martin and others.

In the 1980s Carr returned to Ace Books on a freelance basis to edit a second series of Ace Specials, this time restricted to first novels. The impact of this sequence was perhaps even greater in its second iteration, for it included in its first eighteen months at least six first novels whose reputation has lasted: William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984), Kim Stanley Robinson's The Wild Shore (1984), Carter Scholz and Glenn Harcourt's Palimpsests (1984), Lucius Shepard's Green Eyes (1984), Michael Swanwick's In the Drift (1985) and Howard Waldrop's Them Bones (1984). In 1985 and 1986 he won his third and fourth Hugos, both as Best Editor. What perhaps marked Carr most distinctively was his quite extraordinary capacity to commission or purchase work which, once published, seemed inevitable. His authors seemed to speak to the heart of their times. [MJE/JC]

see also: Cities; Fan Funds; Invasion; Linguistics; Milford Science Fiction Writers' Conference; Mythology; Religion; Sci Fi; Startling Mystery Stories.

Terry Gene Carr

born Grant's Pass, Oregon: 19 February 1937

died 7 April 1987

works

collections

nonfiction

works as editor

World's Best Science Fiction

New Worlds of Fantasy

Universe

  • Universe 1 (New York: Ace Books, 1971) [anth: Universe: illus/Alicia Austin: pb/Davis Meltzer]
  • Universe 2: An Original collection of All-New Science Fiction (New York: Ace Books, 1972) [anth: Universe: illus/Alicia Austin: pb/Dean Ellis]
  • Universe #3 (New York: Random House, 1973) [anth: Universe: hb/Bob Silverman]
  • Universe #4 (New York: Random House, 1974) [anth: Universe: hb/]
  • Universe #5 (New York: Random House, 1975) [anth: Universe: hb/Jon Lopez]
  • Universe #6 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1976) [anth: Universe: hb/Richard Mantel]
  • Universe #7 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1977) [anth: Universe: hb/Roger Zimmerman]
  • Universe #8 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1978) [anth: Universe: hb/James Starrett]
  • Universe #9 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1979) [anth: Universe: hb/Roger Zimmerman]
  • Universe #10 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1980) [anth: Universe: hb/Lawrence Ratzkin]
  • Universe #11 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1981) [anth: Universe: hb/Roger Zimmerman]
  • Universe #12 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1982) [anth: Universe: hb/Roger Zimmerman]
  • Universe #13 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1983) [anth: Universe: hb/nonpictorial]
  • Universe #14 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1984) [anth: Universe: hb/nonpictorial]
  • The Best from Universe (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1984) [anth: Universe: hb/Julie Linden]
  • Universe #15 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1985) [anth: Universe: hb/Peter R Kruzan]
  • Universe #16 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1986) [anth: Universe: hb/nonpictorial]
  • Universe #17 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1987) [anth: Universe: hb/nonpictorial]

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